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Umahi orders arrest of street traders on rehabilitated Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway



Umahi orders arrest of street traders on rehabilitated Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway

Umahi orders arrest of street traders on rehabilitated Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway

In a bold move, the Minister of Works, Mr. David Umahi, takes a decisive stand against street traders on the rehabilitated section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway in Aba. During his inspection, he orders the immediate arrest of erring traders and expresses disappointment over their actions, vowing to pursue legal action against them. Umahi calls for a collaborative effort to ensure the completion of the vital infrastructure project.

Mr. Umahi, visibly dismayed by the disregard for the completed road section, directs security operatives to apprehend the traders, stressing that their activities hinder the ongoing rehabilitation work. He emphasizes that such actions not only undermine the efforts of the Federal Government but also pose a threat to the safety of road users.

“It appears the people here like to inflict injuries on themselves. They can’t even allow the contractor to work. They drive against traffic. They use the completed road for parks, trading and dumping of refuse,” Umahi remarks sternly. “The whole of Aba refuse is being dumped on this road. It is not encouraging at all.”

The Minister suggests the establishment of a task force by the governor to address the issue promptly. He emphasizes the need for citizens to contribute to the completion of the project, urging support for President Bola Tinubu’s efforts to navigate the challenges of the national economy.

“The only way out for this work to be completed is for the governor to set up a task force and clear the road,” Umahi asserts. “The citizens of this country will need to do their bit, while leadership also does its bit. That is the only way it will work.”

Expressing satisfaction with the work done by Arab Contractors, the Minister commends their efforts despite the challenges faced during the project’s execution. However, he highlights the decade-long delay in completion, attributing it to the escalating costs of construction materials.

“When I came on board in August 2023, bitumen was N500,000 per ton, but today it’s about N1.3 million. That is why we are asking, can we go for concrete that is almost about 95 per cent sourced locally?” Umahi questions, underscoring the economic factors affecting infrastructure development.

Federal Controller of Works in Abia, Tony Onwubiko, provides insights into the project, covering approximately 57km from Abia Tower in Umuahia to the Railway Crossing at Alaoji in Osisioma Local Government Area. Onwubiko acknowledges the challenges faced in completing the expressway and echoes the Minister’s call for collaboration to expedite the construction process.

The Minister’s inspection also includes visits to the NNPC Filling Station near Umuahia and the Abia Tower section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway. While expressing satisfaction with Setraco Nigeria Limited’s work, Umahi identifies certain errors and urges the company to address them promptly.

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